Yesterday I reported how Kansas school spending advocates lie about facts in order to score political points with their constituencies. Today we again see how the school spending lobby distorts facts, this time in a very substantial way concerning an important matter.
The Kansas Watchdog piece Debunking Education Employment Claims uncovers a significant gap between numbers self-reported by Kansas schools and numbers gathered by a different source.
The Kansas State Department of Education asked school districts how many employees they will cut for the current school year. The answer — 3,701 employees to be cut across the state — is widely cited by school spending advocates like the Kansas National Education Association (or KNEA, the teachers union) and the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB) as evidence that public schools are making their share of cuts along with everyone else. Further, they say, more cuts will be harmful to the education of Kansas schoolchildren.
But evidence gathered by the Kansas Legislative Research Department finds that the actual decline in employment is only 875 jobs. That’s a lot different from 3,701.
The magnitude of this gap — the self-reported number is over four times the actual number — gives us yet another reason to carefully examine the facts that the school spending lobby produces and cites.